By Michael T. Bello
Published Oct 7, 2009 at 4:00 PM ET; Updated Oct 4, 2009 at 10:22 AM ET

Bates CollegeLewiston, ME – Bates looks to reclaim its place in the top ten this season. Over the past ten years, the Bobcats have consistently played in the top half of the B division, finishing in the top ten from 2002 to 2007 and winning the Kurtz Cup three times. The team’s 14th -place final ranking last season marked their worst finish since 1998, when they finished 15th. With a core group of experienced players and some talented additions, Bates looks like it’s back on track to finish strong this season.

The Bobcats will be led by senior co-captains Hannah Laverty and Whitney Roller, who played 1-2 last season. Although the squad has lost players at 3, 4, 6, and 9 to graduation, the incoming first-year players should fill in the holes in the ladder. First-year Cheri-Ann Parris, one of the top junior players in the Caribbean, brings international experience to the team, having represented Barbados in the World Junior Championships and the Cayman Islands Open this past year. Parris, who is also an internationally ranked chess player, should compete for a position in the Bobcats’ top three. Ali Bragg, who played 1 at Westminster, should play in the middle three, and Liza Dorison, Carlie Rice, and Megan Ruth should add more depth to the bottom of Bates’ ladder.

The team will be busy off the courts as well, with plans to go hiking in the fall, to spend a day working with a PSA or WISPA pro, and to try to see the Tournament of Champions in New York. Both women’s and men’s squads are involved in Bates’ urban squash program, tutoring and mentoring kids from Lewiston’s Sudanese and Somali populations.

2008-2009 Season Recap

SEASON RECORD: 11-10
FINAL RANKING: 14th
HOWE CUP RESULTS: 14th; 6th in Kurtz Cup (B Division)

2009-2010 Season Preview

Returning Players from Team Championships: Hannah Laverty ’10 (1); Whitney Roller ’10 (2); Mimi Neal ’12 (5); Anna Hogeland ’11 (7); Stephanie Cabot ’11 (8; 2nd Team All-NESCAC 2009); Emily Russell ’11 (10)

Graduating Players from Team Championships: Margot Webel (3); Sarah Blomstedt (4); Sophie Runquist (6); Virginia Schippers (9)

Additions for the 2009-2010 Roster:

  • Expected to compete for a position in the top 3: Cheri-Ann Parris (Barbados)
  • Expected to compete for a position in the middle 3: Ali Bragg (Westminster School)
  • Expected to compete for positions in the bottom 3: Liza Dorison (Loomis Chaffee), Carlie Rice (Choate), Megan Ruth (Baldwin, PA)

Captains: Hannah Laverty and Whitney Roller

Team Goals: Make the top 10

Key Matches: Middlebury, Bowdoin, Mount Holyoke

To read other team previews, please visit the 2009 – 2010 College Squash Preview Page.